Development and Validation of a Perceived Barriers to Physical Activity Scale for Low-Income Adolescents

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Low-income adolescents’ physical activity (PA) levels fall below current recommendations. Perceived barriers to physical activity (PBPA) are likely significant predictors of PA levels; however, valid and reliable measures to assess PA barriers are lacking. This manuscript describes the development of the PBPA Survey for Low-Income Adolescents. Methods: A mixed-method approach was used. Items identified from the literature and revised for clarity and appropriateness (postcognitive interviews) were assessed for test–retest reliability with 74 adolescents using intraclass correlation coefficient. Items demonstrating low intraclass correlation coefficients or floor effects were removed. Both exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis analyses (n = 1914 low-income teens) were used to finalize the scale; internal consistency was assessed by Cronbach’s alpha. Concurrent validity was established by correlating the PBPA with the PA questionnaire for adolescents using a Spearman correlation. Results: The exploratory factor analysis yielded a 38-item, 7-factor solution, which was cross-validated by confirmatory factor analysis (comparative-fit index, nonnormed fit index = .90). The scale’s Cronbach’s alpha was .94, with subscales ranging from .70 to .88. The PBPA Survey for Low-Income Adolescents’ concurrent validity was supported by a negative PA questionnaire for adolescents’ correlation values. Conclusion: The PBPA Survey for Low-Income Adolescents can be used to better understand the relationship between PBPA among low-income teens. Further research is warranted to validate the scale with other adolescent subgroups.

Li is with the Beijing Institute of Nutritional Resources, Beijing, China. Palmer Keenan is with the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA. Hullings is with the Department of Regulatory Affairs, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Wang is with the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA.

Keenan (dkeenan@njaes.rutgers.edu) is corresponding author.
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